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Cowboys React To Upcoming Sports Illustrated Stories

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Oklahoma State is reacting to a planned series of articles by Sports Illustrated that allege misconduct in the Cowboys football program starting in 2001.

OSU issued a statement Saturday saying the articles are based on interviews with former OSU players, coaches, and staff members, and the allegations do not involve any current coaches or players.

Sports Illustrated notified OSU of the articles on August 28th, and says the project has been planned for almost a year, with plans to publish the articles later in the week.

SI informed OSU the vast majority of the allegations occurred between 2001 and 2007.

The Tulsa World reported some of the allegations made by Sports Illustrated will include the use of female recruiting hostesses, academics, the monitoring of drug use in the program, and payments by coaches and boosters.

OSU President Burns Hargis and athletics director Mike Holder reacted to the upcoming articles in a statement released by the school on Saturday.

“Oklahoma State University is deeply troubled by these claims. We will investigate the accuracy of the allegations and take all appropriate action,” said Hargis. “We do not condone or tolerate improper conduct in our athletic programs. OSU requires everyone affiliated with the university to follow the rules and adhere to the highest ethical standards.”

Mike Holder said, “We are shocked by the allegations raised about our football program. We take the allegations seriously. Whether they have merit or not, we don’t know. But we will find out.

“Our athletic department understands the high expectations OSU President Burns Hargis and the OSU Board of Regents have set for us. Our coaches and staff understand we will not tolerate any violations that compromise our pursuit of excellence, the highest of ethical standards, and full compliance with NCAA rules and regulations,” Holder said.

OSU head football coach Mike Gundy was asked about the Sports Illustrated articles after the Cowboys’ win over Texas-San Antonio on Saturday, and said “I’m aware of that and I cannot comment.”

OSU said in their statement Saturday they have contacted the NCAA about the allegations and the school will conduct their own investigation with the help of an independent investigator.

OSU also said in their statement senior writer George Dohrmann and executive editor B.J. Schecter came to Stillwater the week of September 2 to provide details of the series and said reporter Thayer Evans also was part of the reporting team.